What's Growing 3/25/12

Cosmo Seedlings (front) Peony Poppy Seedlings (back)

Like many other places in New England, this was a highly unsually warm week in Boston and many of my plants made good strides as a result of the good weather. I replanted the cosmos into cool-whip containers and they grew their first set of true leaves. Seedlings emerged for many of the plants in my in-door and out-door herb gardens. Particularly exciting was that the Botanical Interests Baby Little Finger Carrot seedlings peeped out of the ground, as this is the first year that I am growing carrots. The baby oranges on the orange tree grew bigger. The orange tree is now consuming about .75 cups of water a day!

Alpine Strawberries (front) Little Finger Carrots - 25 days (back)

The germination rate of my tomatos this year was verry disappointing so I sewed more seeds. Only 3 of 15 Black Krim tomatos germinated and only 5 of 15 Black Trifele tomato seeds germinated. None of the Coyote tomato seeds germinated. I recall that I had much better results last year. Thus, I got some more seeds from my friend to hopefully will get more seedlings. The types of tomatos that might come from the seeds my friend  gave me are a bit of a mystery as they are listed as "good tomato" and "holland tomato."  I also started some of the sugar sweetie tomatos from last year.

Seedlings & Cleaning up

The weather was fantastic today and I used it as an opportunity to get out onto the balcony and clean up the mess from last year. I pulled and threw out all of the old tomato plants. I cut away all of the dead alpine strawberry plants to allow the new plants to get bigger. I was pleasantly surprised that so much growth on these plants has taken place. The raspberry bush desperately needed to be cut and I could feel how flimsy the old dried branches were as I cut them off. The blueberry bush has little buds already that will turn into leaves eventually.

Indoors, both the peony's and cosmos are well under way. The romaine lettuce seedlings have sprung up and so have some of the herb seedlings. At yesterday's flower & garden show I bought a bonsai orange tree and noted today that the tree has some time oranges already.

Cosmo, Peony, and Romaine Seedlings

Alpine Strawberries

Blueberry Bush

Bonsai Orange Tree

Boston Flower & Garden Show 2012

Ideal Deck

Over 25 exhibits and many unique shops is what I found at this year's Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport Hotel / Convention center. There were lots of beautiful flowers in bloom not only daffodils (Narcissus), tulips, roses, hellebores, peonies, lilies of all sorts, poppys and many many more. My favorite was the vast number tulip varieties (especially the orange and yellow ones). There was also an exhibit featuring bonsai plants. This included the typical plants only (ie Azaleas, dogwood, etc). What was far more interesting were the bonsai plants being offered up for sale. I gave up on waiting for my citrus tree seeds to germinate and bought a 3 foot bonsai orange tree. The only sad part is that I have no idea how old this one is. I will get it cleaned up and post a picture soon!

Poppy & Tulips

Tulips & Daffodils

Bonsai trees flowers
Beautiful Purple Flowers

Calla Lillies

Fountain with Flowers

Starting Tomatos - Japanese Black Trifele, Black Krim, Coyote Tomatos

Last year I started tomatos on the 17th of March and when  it was time to plant outside my plants were all very small and weak. This year I am starting my tomatos earlier in hopes of having an earlier crop. Last year's crop was disappointing in general with only a handful of tomatos.

Since I am starting my tomatoes from seed, I decided that it would be interesting to plant rare varieties of tomatoes. So far, I have started Japanese Black Trifele, Black Krim, and Coyote varieties. I learned that the Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes are actually from Russia not Japan.
I took 10 - 15 seeds of each variety and placed them on a wet paper towel and in a plastic bag. This will make it easy to put the seeds somewhere warm to germinate. In 10 days or so I will move the strongest of these seeds to little pots of soil.

Do you have any suggestions for varieties I should try out?

Bonsai Orange Tree Seeds (Citris Mitis Calamondin-Minature Orange)

Yesterday I received my bonsai orange tree seeds (Citris Mitis Calamondin-Minature Orange) and placed them in a wet paper towel to germinate.
This tree is said to be a cross between a kumquat and a tangerine tree. I am not expecting for this tree to bear fruit until about 2 years from now. The fruit itself is a tart orange / lemon about 2 inches in diameter.
I'm not sure if this tree will be able to survive the non-tropical weather here in New England but will try to provide updates on this tree every couple weeks or so.

Fast Germinating Flowers - Poppy / Peony

I saw my first seedling of the season today. This is the Poppy / Peoney double blend by botanical interests.  I planted these seeds only 5 days ago!!

Poppy/Peoney Seedling @ 5 days